September 27, 2019
Atlanta Symphony Hall
Review and photos by Robert Kern
Adam Ant Definitely a “Friend” on Atlanta “Friend or Foe” tour stop
From the opening strains of “Friend or Foe” to the last note of “Physical (You’re So)” the crowd in Atlanta’s Symphony Hall never left their feet Friday night. Such is the power of Adam Ant.
Those in attendance were warm and receptive to opening act Glam Skanks, but the relative calm in the crowd during their set quickly dissolved into an all-out dance fest once Adam Ant took over. Stage banter was brief at best early as those in attendance were treated to an end to end performance of Adam Ant’s 1982 debut solo album “Friend or Foe”. It’s a ballsy move to perform a classic album straight through as often the deeper tracks appeal only to hardcore fans. Not on this night. It didn’t matter to anyone there – the reception was wildly enthusiastic regardless of whether or not they were familiar with the music being presented.
Ant was in very good voice and his performance was quirky and energetic. He mugged, pranced and posed across the stage throughout the two-hour, 28 song set moving more like a twenty-something than a man nearing his mid-sixties. He occasionally touched hands with a few of the ladies in the front row (and got the requisite reaction) and tossed a couple of scarves into the crowd for good measure.
Adam Ant’s five-piece backing band was extremely good, providing backing vocals and additional percussion duties when needed.
The crowd raucously devoured song after song from the “Friend or Foe” album but you could sense that they were primed and ready for the inevitable arrival of “Goody Two-Shoes”. After a spirited run through powered by two drummers, the Ant faithful registered their approval with a thunderous response as the song concluded.
When the “Friend or Foe” set wrapped, Ant took the crowd on a thrill ride of tunes from his Adam and the Ants and solo careers. Playing guitar on several songs, he paused a few times to give back stories and gave serious props to the song “Ant Music”, proclaiming that it had been the song that changed everything for him.
The set concluded as the crowd joined in with Ant on “Stand and Deliver” which featured an extended crowd sing-along ending.
After briefly leaving the stage to prolonged applause, Ant and the band returned for a three-song encore concluding with crowd favorite “Physical (You’re So). Then Adam Ant slipped off the stage and the house lights came up immediately, even before the band had a chance to exit – making no mistake that the show was over.